Jeremiah 29 Do you miss home; the familiar sounds and smells? Do you often reminisce about that time? Put yourself in the shoes of those taken by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. You are longing to return to your homeland, but it seems like there is no hope; the days drag on and on and on. You are trying to discern from the news what is really happening. Whose words are true? One the one hand, you hear the exiled priests saying, “Don’t worry, it will end soon! Our wealth will be returned to the Temple, and our kings will rise again.” On other days you hear: get busy; build houses, have big families. And to add to that you hear: PRAY FOR BABYLON AND THE BABYLONIANS!
PRAY for the Babylonians who took me captive? Are you kidding me?
Whose words are right? Because God knows they need assurance, He empowers Jeremiah to pen a letter to them:
Dear Exiles, know this; God loves you. He has put you here so you will not have to experience the calamity in Jerusalem. Don’t listen to the false reports of returning; God has not sent those who spout those words. Instead, remain faithful. Live and be productive. When 70yrs has passed, God will send you back to rebuild His city!
The Lord has “plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you a future filled with hope.”
PS This God’s plan if you will accept it. Remember, you are a child of the Highest God. Don’t forget who you are and don’t forget whose you are.
God has a plan for you in 2020 if you will accept it. He loves you and He has put you right where you are to do His work. Even though it is hard, God is asking;
Will you accept My plan for you even if you don’t understand it?
Numbers 1-3 Boring lists of names? Numbers beyond our ability to comprehend? This is how the book of Numbers begins, but what we lack in comprehension the Holy Spirit has the understanding, and it is this: God is a God of details. He knows when a sparrow falls; He knows each hair on your head. Why is this important? It is because God has a plan, and your name is on it.
God knew that Moses needed others to serve, and so in eternity past, he chose men to help him. They were to be Moses servants to be ready to serve in whatever capacity God had planned. That was then, and it is the same today. God cares so much for each of us that He chose us for His kingdom’s work and called them His servants. A servant serves others even when inconvenient, also when he or she dislikes the “duty,” or when circumstances are convenient or inconvenient or when you may or may not receive recognition, and lastly, with an attitude that you are doing God’s work.
God has a plan for each of us. In eternity past, He looked down from his throne in heaven and said I need this person for this position, or I need that person for another job. And God did all of that just because He loved you and me. Amazingly He wants to be glorified through us. Stop and think about that today and praise God for His lovingkindness that He chose you for His work.
“The Lord bless you and protect you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”’
Within this beautiful blessing prayer, the name of Yahweh was prominently displayed as coming from Him, not a person. The words bless, keep, gracious, countenance and peace are sent from heaven upon His people. These are the words that God desires to bestow upon His people. Later Jeremiah reminded the Israelites in captivity of God’s love. “I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.” [Jer 31:3]
So how does that translate to NT believers who are Gentiles? We were a wild olive shoot but are grafted in among the Israelites. This blessing is for us as well.
Today as you go about your daily routine stop and pray this blessing this way: Father, bless me and protect me, make your face shine upon me and be gracious to me; lift up your face upon me and give me peace. Claim this promise from Jeremiah and make it personal. Father, I know you have loved me with your everlasting love and you have been faithful to me. With this upon our mind step forth into your work with His blessing upon you because you are His child!
What’s a letter without a signature? God adds his: